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The biggest download spikes of the year: by the numbers


Posted on December 24, 2019

3 min read

Break out the floss and hit ‘em with the dab: Fortnite absolutely dominated our network this year! We’ve taken a look at the numbers and found the top data spikes for 2019.

We break our network down into two categories: fixed and wireless, each with their own distinct data spikes throughout the year.

On our fixed network, Fortnite dominated! Four of the top 10 data spikes of the year coincided with big Fortnite updates, including the release of Chapter 2 and milestone patches.

Elsewhere in the top 10, streaming dominated the charts. The Australian premiere of The Mandalorian on newly minted streaming service Disney+; the Australia Day Weekend and the Cricket World Cup all made the top 10.

# Week Key Contributors[1]
1 14 October Fortnite 11 Chapter 2 Release
2 18 November Disney + Launch & Mandalorian Premiere (AU)
3 28 January Australia Day Weekend
4 08 April Easter Holidays
5 25 March Fortnite 8.1 Release
6 26 August Fortnite 10.2 Release
7 25 February Fortnite 8.0 Release
8 7 October Labour Day Weekend
9 10 June Cricket World Cup & Queens Birthday Holiday
10 30 September First weekend after sports season

Out and about on the mobile network, Halloween and big sporting events took over as people communicated with their friends and sent pictures and videos back-and-forth. The biggest data spike on mobile was the equivalent of approximately 1.3 million HD Movie Downloads or 850 million Instagram uploads.

# Week Key Contributors [1]
1 26 October   Halloween Weekend / Rugby World Cup / Cox Plate
2 23 November   Australia v Pakistan Cricket / Bushfire Crisis
3 29 November Black Friday Weekend 
4 21 September Prelim AFL – Collingwood vs GWS
5 28 September AFL Grand Final – Richmond vs GWS

While we predict that this year voice calls and Christmas messages (SMS, MMS & Telstra Messaging) will be similar in volume to last year (46 million and 44 million respectively). We expect that data volume will jump more than 50% year on year to around 3.5 Petabytes. That is equivalent to approximately 1.4 million downloads of Love Actually.

Coomera: the data capital of the nation

Take a short drive from Brisbane down toward Queensland’s Gold Coast and you’ll stumble upon the regional gem of Coomera. Flanked by picturesque golf courses and the quiet, lapping banks of the aptly named Coomera River, this town of just over 13,000 people boasts the biggest data usage in the nation for 2019!

Queensland’s state average for monthly data consumption is a little over 268GB per month, making it the second highest data consuming state in the nation behind the Northern Territory. Coomera eclipses the state average, consuming a whopping 445.8GB per month per household.

Must be big Fortnite players in Coomera, we guess?

Coomera narrowly edged out a variety of other suburbs for their whopping data usage, mainly in Queensland, Victoria, Western Australia and New South Wales:

State/Territory Suburb Usage per household (GB)

State-by-state, the Northern Territory came in first place as we mentioned with 290GB per month per household, followed by Queensland, Western Australia (251.4GB/month); Victoria (244.86GB/month); New South Wales (242.4GB/month); Tasmania (233GB/month); South Australia (228.11GB/month), and the Australian Capital Territory (222.2GB/month).

[1] Between 1 January 2019 and mid-December 2019. Events noted correlate with the traffic peaks but might not be the only or biggest cause of data spikes on these dates.

5G arrives at the MCG, just in time for the AFL Grand Final


Posted on September 22, 2019

3 min read

This Saturday Richmond and Greater Western Sydney will play in the AFL Grand Final.

These two teams will bring a bumper crowd and we’re giving fans an early present by turning on our new 5G coverage at the MCG – it’s 5G at the G. 

Customers on Telstra 5G can expect an enhanced network experience, with faster downloads, better browsing and connectivity. 

5G arrives at the MCG, just in time for the AFL Grand Final

The Tiger Army will be in full force as will Giants fans too, and the added network capacity that 5G offers is hugely beneficial at big events like this.  

A crowd of up to 100,000 people is expected to pack the MCG.

Last year we saw a massive 3.8 terabytes of data sent over our mobile network from the MCG alone, up 22% from the previous year. That’s equivalent to 1200 hours of video content or 27 billion SMS messages.  

We’ve been on a mission to connect the MCG to the networks of the future since 2015 when we partnered with the Melbourne Cricket Club, who run the venue, to bolster capacity with an innovative 3G/4G coverage solution. 

5G arrives at the MCG, just in time for the AFL Grand Final
From left: Stuart Fox, MCC, Emilio Romeo, Ericsson and Nikos Katinakis, Telstra

The arrival of 5G at the ‘G marks yet another milestone in our relationship with the historic venue. 

That system has performed incredibly well over the last four years, and now, in partnership with Ericsson, we are once against enhancing our coverage at the ground, both with the latest 4G technology as well as introducing 5G coverage for the first time. 

We’re excited to continue our partnership with Ericsson here in Australia. Every time we meet with our friends from Ericsson, we’re always talking about what’s next in our connectivity journey.

I toured the MCG installation with Ericsson’s Australian CEO, Emilio Romeo on the weekend. Emilio told me that this collaboration with Telstra and MCC is another example of industry working together to drive 5G advancement, and responding to growing demand for increased data and enhanced experiences. And I agree, this ensures Australia remains at the forefront of telecommunications technology

The executive team at the MCC, led by CEO Stuart Fox, has also told us that they’re pleased to be the first stadium in Australia to provide patrons with access to 5G. 5G at the ‘G puts the MCC into an elite category to cater to international broadcasters, media and fans. 

While 5G is ready for the opening bounce, we’re not done perfecting the best connectivity experience at the ground. Our engineers in concert with Ericsson will continue to evaluate the deployment and design, making improvements each week to optimise 4G and 5G coverage at the home of footy. 

Play on! 

5G arrives at the MCG, just in time for the AFL Grand Final

Tags: AFL, Data, sport,

4 insights from the world’s biggest data conference

Telstra Careers Advice

Posted on December 12, 2018

3 min read

Over 17,000 delegates from around the world attended the recent Tableau Conference, and I was thrilled that, alongside my team, I got to help share the Telstra story with them.

We spoke about our data visualisation journey and the innovative work our teams are doing in the analytics space, particularly when it comes to helping our people thrive through the use of data.

It was also great to hear from other global tech companies like Facebook and Expedia, and their presentations really reinforced to me just how important data and Artificial Intelligence (AI) are to help solve some of the world’s most complex problems.

So what were the biggest takeaways from the biggest data and analytics conference in the world that could help your career? Here are my top four things:

Share your data journey

Learning from other people’s roadblocks and adoption strategies, allows you to make more meaningful progress across similar hurdles that you might face.

It also gives you a new network of people to reach out to throughout the year, if you need advice and inspiration for one of your projects.

Data equality is important

Data equality is a strategic imperative for any organisation wanting to thrive in the connected world in which we live.

This means everyone has access to the same data regardless of their job title, and can self-serve when they need to, to help solve problems and create new business opportunities.

This requires 100 per cent transparency and a culture that supports everyone having the data basics, which are:

– Visualisation
– A standard data tool set
– Access to a ‘Data Jedi’ to seek advice from

Make valuable connections

You should leverage the power and energy of the data community.

Whether you’re looking to improve your current technical skillset or are trying to improve your company’s approach to data visualisation, architecture, remediation or intelligence, the data community is a great resource to help you think outside the square, collaborate and gather insights.

Data is making a difference to our community

A great example of analytics coming to life and having a positive impact on the community was through the Visualize No Malaria initiative.

Through the use of data analytics, some of the best minds at the conference revealed how they’ve helped to drive a 90 per cent reduction in malaria related deaths in Southern Zambia. Some of the ideas they came up with were mind blowing.

So when I returned back to Australia, we held a similar initiative at Telstra, where the best ‘Data Jedi’s’ within Telstra helped to solve some of our complex problems.

It was a great way for all of our people to learn from others and challenge the status quo to see what is possible through data.

Here at Telstra, we’re taking the best things that are working in the data and analytics world and bringing them into our organisation.

This means a career with us will see you work with the best tools in the business and alongside the best people in their field.

Want to see where a career at Telstra can take you? Head to our careers website to hear from our leaders and learn about our teams.

Tags: advice, Career, Data,

‘Your Telstra Tools’: Keeping you informed

Telstra News Business and Enterprise

Posted on July 27, 2018

1 min read

You may have heard about concerns regarding Telstra’s online help service for Enterprise and Small Business customers called Your Telstra Tools.

As you’d expect, we take the privacy and security of our customers extremely seriously – so we took the immediate step to disable Your Telstra Tools while our IT Security team investigated.

The team identified emails from Telstra to 18 customers about planned network interruptions, had been made available to three customers who performed a specific search on the site. The issue was caused by an error in the system’s search function.

We regularly communicate with our customers about our planned network interruptions, including emailing them in advance. The information in the emails is similar to what you would find on a business card or website, such as names, business names, addresses, phone numbers and email addresses.

We have begun contacting and apologising to the small number of affected customers.

The privacy and security of our customers remains a priority – and we remain vigilant to keep our data and systems safe and secure.

Tags: Data,

Health Datapalooza: Australia setting world standard

Tech and Innovation

Posted on May 18, 2016

4 min read

Telstra Health’s Strategy Director, Tim Kelsey, saw how Australia is world leading when it comes to digital health at the recent Health Datapalooza conference in Washington DC.

US Vice President Joe Biden looked around the room – an audience of global digital health innovators gathered together last week for the annual Health Datapalooza in Washington DC – and said ‘I want to talk about my son’.

His son, Beau, died of a brain tumour in 2015 – a personal tragedy which has inspired him to lead Cancer Moonshot 2020, a major presidential initiative to speed up discovery of cures for the disease.

The vice president wants researchers to share their data and he wants clinicians to take advantage of digital services to help them beat cancer – but to get there healthcare around the world needs to get the basics right.

He described how he had been to one US hospital with his son who was to have a brain scan where he needed to transmit the image to another specialist centre. The physician told him that wouldn’t be possible because the ‘IT systems don’t talk to each other.’ In the end he had to fly the disc of his son’s MRI scan to the specialist unit. Biden paused and was then outraged: ‘We spent $35bn on making our hospitals digital and they still can’t talk to each other? This matters. This is a matter of life and death.’

Putting data and technology to better use for patients and citizens couldn’t be a more serious priority in the US – as it is in Australia. Last week I chaired the International track of the Datapalooza in partnership with senior colleagues from the US government – a coming together of digital health leaders from countries including Australia, the UK, France, Canada and Israel.

Paul Madden, deputy secretary at the Australian Department of Health responsible for digital health told the meeting how the My Health Record programme – which gives Australians access to their digital medical data – would ‘improve people’s health’.

In many ways, international colleagues agreed, Australia is setting a new standard in digital health; with the launch of two trials to give people access to My Health Record on an ‘opt-out’ basis which will enable Australians to see their personal data securely online and in mobile formats (from July), unless they choose to opt out. So far only around 1% of people have chosen to opt out, Mr Madden told the conference. Both the UK and the US have launched similar programmes – but they remain ‘opt-in’.

Telstra Health is building a new consumer channel which will allow citizens in Australia to take maximum advantage of this government initiative.  This will allow them to upload their My Health Record data into a safe data store where they can use it in a range of connected ways – to check their medicines, to search local services and book appointments and to access care plans.

There will also be a series of unique digital services that will – to offer two examples – support parents to give their children the best start in life, and give people with depression and anxiety access to safe therapies online. It will give customers access to premium services like Readycare and new solutions to support older people remain independent in their homes.

It draws on many of the strengths of existing Telstra Health businesses but will also bring some of the best global services to Australia. As part of it, we are looking to work with some of the most innovative digital brands in the US on this and related customer services.

Biden finished his speech by remembering something his father used to tell him as a child: ‘How lucky is the person who can get out of bed in the morning and stand up on their own two feet and know what they are going to do that day matters.’ He looked around the room and said: ‘Thank you. Thank you all for doing work that matters’.

My colleagues in Telstra Health and I are lucky to be doing work that matters.

Tags: Data,